I recently interviewed an interior designer on the subject of bathroom décor, and when talk turned to the number of towel sets one should have, her take is we should all have at least four sets per person in your household. Which to me seems really excessive. The argument for this number is that it's good to have sufficient towels so that at any given time you could have one in the hamper, one in the wash, and one hanging on your towel bar (plus a spare for good measure)-which I suppose makes sense if you're someone who washes your towel after every use. Which I, for one, do not.
This also got me thinking and researching whether or not, from a germs perspective, I ought to be washing my towels more than my usual 5-7 days. According to Discovery Health, bathrooms-which are generally warm and humid-make an excellent breeding ground for bacteria when coupled with the dirt, oils, and dead cells from your skin. Washcloths are especially risky territory, since they're actually used to cleanse your face and body, making it easier to transfer staph infections, pinkeye, and even mold. So if you're someone who uses a washcloth, or a hand towel for that matter, you should probably be throwing it in the laundry more frequently than you do your bath towels-at least every three or four days, if not more often. And you'll probably want to stockpile more of these smaller size towels accordingly.
But in terms of bath towels, the verdict's still out on whether or not 5-7 days is sufficient. No matter how long you wait to wash, though, you should always try to spread out wet towels on your towel bar as wide as possible, which makes it easier for air to circulate around them so they dry faster. Color-coding linens according to family member is helpful too, since sharing towels ups the chances for bacteria. And be careful not to let wet bath mats fester on the floor for very long either-if possible, hang those up to dry too.
So now it's your turn: how often do you wash your towels?